By Chris Wright
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has offered his explanation as to why England performed so dismally against Germany in their World Cup second round tie last Sunday.
The 60-year-old, who has been moonlighting as a pundit for French television in South Africa, believes that Fabio Capello‘s side were ‘killed’ by their own lack of patience as they pressed in search of an equaliser – and should have utilised their experience so as not to get continually caught out on the counter-attack as a result.
In an analysis written for the Arsenal website, Wenger summised;
“England were impatient. They came back in the second half to 2-1 and they controlled the game. What made me sad was that, with the experience they had, they were caught.
It was ‘free-kick for England, goal for Germany’.’
They had taken over the game and I think they were killed by their impatience. You do what they did with five minutes to go, but not with 25 minutes left.”
Wenger also believes that the weight of public expectation, rather than Capello’s claims that his squad were too ‘tired’, proved to be the burden that England found too heavy to bear;
“Many teams start slow in the group stage. I remember in 2006, France were horrible in the group stage, but they found momentum in the quarter-final and semi-final because they had no pressure any more. England suffered under pressure. They did not look sharp.
Also England did not seem to be at the level to use their main strength – the huge pace they put in the game. Was that physical fatigue or a mental reason? I do not know, but you never found the sense of English football in there.”
I ask you.
What, other than ale that tastes like it was brewed in the oil sump of a 1982 Vauxhall Carlton, is more English than perpetual disappointment?